Song of the Day: Griffin Woodard Group, “Route 1”

Clarinettist/composer Griffin Woodard seeks spiritual wholeness on his new album, Completion. Listen to “Route 1,” one of his original compositions from the record.

Griffin Woodard is a composer, bass clarinettist, and bandleader who believes in the transformative power of music. He has dedicated years of study to acquiring an in-depth understanding of the rich historical lineage of jazz clarinettists and bass clarinettists from Johnny Dodds to Eric Dolphy. His recently-released debut album, Completion, is described as an uninhibited, autobiographical recount of potent memories and experiences that shaped the course of his life.

Reflecting on the album’s title, Woodard states via an official press release: “The Completion album has nothing to do with endings. The word completion means to me spiritual wholeness.” The album features ten original compositions, along with one arrangement. Among the originals “Route 1,” a highlight, which you can hear via the player below. Hard bopping with energy and expressivity, the track is characterized by a compelling set of changes and Woodard’s beautiful tone.

This track, along with the rest of Completion, is also a fine showcase for his Griffin Woodard Group, the majority of which is formed by alumi of the Oberlin Conservatory Jazz Studies Department. A close knit-band of musicians dedicated to deeply connecting with audiences through individual and collaborative artistic expression, the band strives to honor the profound contributions of their elders while discovering their own unique voice within the music.

The Griffin Woodard Group’s album Completion was released on November 21, 2022, via Praise Message Music. Order it here.

Featured photo courtesy of the artist.

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